Originally created 05/08/99

Submits ideas for improvements 050899 - The Augusta Chronicle

Re the April 29 letter by Jay McDaniel opposing stronger gun controls:

It appears that the National Rifle Association and its devotees are suggesting that a two-sided, "us against them" society with both sides armed to the teeth is a solution to our problem of school shootings. To suggest that the Littleton tragedy would have been mitigated by arming the teachers is to assume that socially and mentally disturbed adolescents are going to be influenced by a logic of detente.

I would submit that it could easily produce the opposite effect; that is, that the would-be attackers might view a shootout situation as an even more exciting challenge, particularly when they consider their own lives expendable as was the case in Colorado.

I believe that to arm teachers would only serve to transform schools into incipient battlegrounds and further proliferate firearms in our already gun-happy culture. The concept, moreover, challenges the resultant effect of the problem rather than the cause.

While we are all frenetically searching for positive and effective approaches to the prevention of further such tragedies, we must tread carefully so as not to exacerbate the very complex and sensitive nature of the problem. I suggest we consider the possible benefits of the following, listed in the order of my perception of their relative importance: more pro-active parenting, less exposure to violence from the entertainment media, and better control of firearms.

Terrence Bedell, Appling


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